In addition to making wine from the produce of its own quintas, Taylor Fladgate also purchases grapes from estates owned by its partner grape growers.
The wine from these grapes is made at the Nogueira winery, near the town of São João da Pesqueira. With good access from the high quality areas of the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, it occupies a strategic location. The winery itself is one of the most advanced in the Douro Valley and is equipped with innovative fermentation tanks designed by the Taylor wine making team. These tanks, whose prototypes were developed at the research winery at Quinta de Vargellas, are equipped with a system of mechanical piston plungers which work asymmetrically according to a cycle customised by the wine maker for each individual batch. These keep the grapes skins in constant contact with the fermenting wine ensuring that the colour, tannins and aromas are gently but thoroughly extracted. The 32 fermentation tanks are of different sizes, giving the wine makers the flexibility to separate the production of each vineyard and preserve the individuality of the wines.
Taylor Fladgate’s 22 partner grape growers are professional farmers with whom Taylor Fladgate maintains a close long term relationship and who own very high quality estates. They are spread over a wide area covering the key quality sub regions of the Douro Valley. The Taylor Fladgate wine making and viticulture teams have a close working relationship with these strategic partners that is mutually beneficial. The grape growers are able to draw on the technical knowledge of the team and receive regular advice bulletins throughout the viticulture year. For Taylor Fladgate these partners represent a consistent supply of high quality grapes, helping to maintain consistency of style and quality. The close partnership also ensures that there is a seamless connection between viticulture and wine making, one of the fundamental keys to quality. Taylor’s policy of developing a close partnership with a small number of professional farmers, rather than purchasing from a large number of small producers, is unusual in the Douro Valley but is fundamental to maintaining a high standard of quality at every level in the range.